26/10/1919 – 2005
Williams Mills was born on 26 October 1919 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, on the northeast coast of Yorkshire.
From a young age Bill wanted to be an aviator, but his father did not think it was too dangeroys. His father helped him integrate into a large international company, the British American Tobacco Company, as a management trainee.
In 1937, during a walk, he learned and decided to join the territorial battalion, the 1st London Scottish. When war was declared, he joined Bulford and trained to control the Vickers machine gun for four months.
On March 15, 1940, he decided to join the 7th Middlesex Regiment, having lived most of his life in Middlesex. In September 1940 he was transferred as adjutant to the 70th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, and he remained there until September 1943. Then in 1943, Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Lindsay, commander of the 9th Parachute Battalion, contacted him during a recruitment campaign. Since Bill Mills was interested in the offer, Martin Lindsay asked for his transfer in September 1943 and was assigned to the 9th Parachute Battalion.
During his training at Hardwick, he was the victim of an accident during a parachute jump where his parachute lines tangled in his arm. He is declared unfit to exercise. With determination and with the help of many acquaintances within the 70th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, he returned to his unit and was transferred to a battalion that landed on the beach.
The battalion was supposed to disembark at Sword Beach, but a setback will finally make them at Gold Beach in front of Crépon, their journey will be all the longer and more dangerous before joining the 6th Airborne, Because some pockets of German resistance are present here and there and the radar station of Douvres-la-Délivrande is still under German control. They only join the division the next day. The fighting in the 6th Airborne area prevented them from supplying the entire battalion. They will not be able to accomplish this mission until the early hours of June 12. On that day, the battalion suffered the most intense German artillery barrage on that date. This led to an attack that will be stopped thanks to the few Vickers machine guns at their disposal as well as the actions of some. The 6th Airborne returned to England in September 1944. In June 1945, he was appointed staff officer and was responsible for removing mines along the coast and inspecting German prisoner camps in the area.
After the war, he was demobilized in June 1946 and resumed a career in the tobacco industry, which took him to North Africa and the Middle East. He did so until 1957, when he joined a consulting firm. Bill later became very involved in the 9th Parachute Battalion Reunion Club, and became very close friends with the mayor, Olivier Paz.